About broad match modifiers

Offering more control than broad match, the broad match modifier option shows only ads in searches that include the words you’ve marked with a plus sign, such as +red +shoes, or close variations of the plussed terms. More words may appear before, after, or between the terms. For example, the broad match modified keywords +red +shoes can match a search query for “red men’s shoes,” but not for “blue shoes” or “red hiking boots.” This can help increase how relevant searches are to your ads, and improve your clickthrough (CTR) and conversion rates.

This article explains what broad match modifiers are and how they can be used to help your ads reach more relevant customers.

What broad match modifiers are

By default, Google Ads uses the broad match option to target searches that include any combination of the words that comprise your keyword term, as well as searches containing synonyms or other variations of those words (such as related searches). So although a broad match keyword like tennis shoes might send a lot of relevant click traffic to your site, you might reach more searches than you originally intended.

Broad match modifiers ensure that your ads will only show when someone’s search includes words you’ve marked with a plus sign, such as +quick +hardwood +flooring installation, or close variations of these terms. Close variants for broad match modifier include misspellings, singular and plural forms, abbreviations and acronyms, and stemmings (like "floor" and "flooring"). Synonyms (like "quick" and "fast") and related searches (like "tile" and "laminate") aren't considered close variants for broad match modifier.

How broad match modifiers impact traffic and clicks

Modifiers add more specificity to your broad match keywords, and therefore narrow their reach. So, while using a broad match modifier can increase the relevance of your keywords, it in turn can decrease your expected traffic.

Best practices

To get additional relevant clicks, try doing the following:

  • Leave your existing broad match keywords active (rather than editing or removing them).
  • If you've primarily used broad match keywords, consider adjusting your bids as you add more relevant modified broad match keywords. A higher cost-per-click (CPC) bid may increase your click volume and conversions.
  • If you've primarily used exact and phrase match, adding modified broad match keywords may help you to reach more customers while retaining control over which search terms match your keywords.
  • Because modified broad match keywords will already capture searches that are close variations of your plussed terms, there's no need to build out multiple variations like +red +shoe and +red +shoes.
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